Funding Allows Homeowners To 'Literally Raise Their Homes Out Of Harm's Way'

BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)Gov. Chris Christie announced federal grant money has been made available for about 2,700 homeowners who sustained damage from superstorm Sandy.

Christie announced the grant program Monday in a visit to a Brick Township neighborhood where all the homes are on lagoons.

Each homeowner will receive up to $30,000 in federal grant money to help them elevate their homes.

“The people who have the greatest risk and suffered the greatest damage will go first and everybody else will go in descending order,” Gov. Christie said Monday. “By helping people to elevate their homes, they can literally raise their homes out of harm’s way.”

However, Christie conceded that money likely won’t help most homeowners finish the job.

“I’ll apply for anything they let me,” one homeowner told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

“We’re getting prices anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000,” another resident said.

Recipients will be chosen based on how much damage they received in Sandy, along with other factors.

“This is an important step in making us stronger than the storm,” said Christie.

Some homeowners said they’re still unsure if they’ll have to elevate their homes in order to qualify for affordable flood insurance.

“Some people say you have to, some people say you don’t have to,” a resident told Silverman.

The governor said regardless of the insurance premiums, homeowners would be wise to raise their properties.

“The evidence is right here in Brick. All the elevated homes along Metedeconk River were built a couple years before Sandy and they escaped major damage. Others that weren’t elevated weren’t so lucky,” said Christie.

The grants are the latest of several federal grants to be announced in New Jersey. The most generous is providing up to $150,000 to help rebuild homes. Those funds can also be used to raise homes to higher levels.

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